tv West Point Holiday Special FOX News December 25, 2011 10:00am-11:00am PST
hat. meantime, i'm ready for christmas. great to be with you. see you at 7:00 p.m. eastern on the fox report tonight. our troops. captioned by closed captioning services, inc. welcome to fox news♪ channel's westpoint holiday special. i'm jon scott. coming to you from the grounds of the united states military academy at west point, new york. west point is america's oldest military post. and one of our country's most fabled universities. each year more than 1,000 cadets graduate here. and become officers in the united states army. tonight we will not only get to explore the rich history of west point and get a rare glimpse of the living tradition of the united states military but we'll also get to enjoy the music of the army's oldest band. the west point band is one of the finest military musical
organizations. throughout the next hour we'll hear them on the field. ♪ >> jon: in the halls. ♪ ♪ >> jon: on stage as they perform for the public in their annual holiday concert. but before we get to the music, let's go to washington, d.c. for a special message from general martin dempsey, chairman of the joints chiefs of staff and 1974 west point graduate. general? >> thanks for the opportunity to showcase this national treasure in the holidays. and hear the music of the west point band, the army's oldest and one of the very best. it also don't want to miss this opportunity to highlight the service and sacrifice of the millions of service men and women serving our nation at home and abroad during the holidays. i wish them and their families happy holidays. >> general dempsey, thank you. the holiday season would not be complete without the annual west point holiday concert in eisenhower hall.
named for a class of 1915 graduate, general and later president dwight eisenhower, eisenhower hall is one of the largest theater ins america, designed to hold the entire corps of cadets. so let's get right to it. here is the west point band in the hudson holiday concert, performing holiday presents. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
>> jon: glad you're with us. i'm jon scott on the grounds of west point to bring you the sound of the west point band. the academy sits on plateau, overlooking the hudson river. location chosen in 1778 is no accident. george washington builds his first colonial camp on the west point of the hudson river. this is the oldest continuously operated post in u.s. military. >> general washington chose this location to stop the british advancement during the revolutionary war. 24 years later, legislation signed by thomas jefferson in 1802, the college was established, devoted to training professional leaders in warfare. now more than 200 years later, today's cadets are well aware of the impressive legacy placed on their shoulders. >> tradition is everything here. it permeates through everything that we do.
i mean, the uniform is the same as 1802 when the school opened. it gives us a background and something to draw from in the lives and experiences as cadets. >> since day one, everyone has their heart set on serving the country. it's not something you ever regret. it's something you get hyped about. you get reinspired and remotivated to serve your country. >> it starts with a mission. our mission to educate, train and inspire the corps of cadets so each graduate is a commissioned leader of character. committed to the values of duty, honor and country. and prepared for a selfless career of service. as an officer in the united states army. ♪ ♪ >> as long as there has been soldiers at west point there has been a band. >> there were musicians who were field musicians. drummers and fiffe arees going back to the colonial army.
>> jon: military drones were the primary communication from revolution to civil war. bugle achieved increasingly important role in the mid-1800s, for the ability of the bold, brilliant sound to be heard above the noise of battle. throughout history, west point cadet marched to the beat of the west point band field music group. >> that same type of group even the same type of music, the same instruments, they still play today. ♪ ♪ the thing you see is daily formation. they form up and call the company to attention. we march in formation to the mess hall where we eat. the drums keep everyone in step. we are all marching to the same page.
you see them all marching in to the beat of a drum. the entire corps of cadet eat all at one time. >> in addition to keeping the cadets on the precise military schedule, that makes up life at west point, the field music group known to most as hell cat performs the military review, parades and other events. let's go back now inside eisenhower hall to the hudson valley holiday concert. here are the hell cats and the west point band performing. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ >> jon: welcome back to fox news channel west point holiday special. i'm john scott. that was the west point glee club singing the west point alma mater. december is a special time around here. when the future army officers look forward to a well deserved break from the studies in training. the holidays are a very, very busy time here at west point. cadets are thinking about the emotional reunions as they go back to each of the 50 states, to 33 different countries around the world. >> it's time to remember those who have gone before them. the thousands of americans
celebrating the holiday far from home. this reminds us of soldiers serving in harm's way. and to be away from the united states in the holidays. we never forget the sacrifice. >> walking through the post, the holiday spirit is palpable. if home work, quizzes, tests getting ready for finals. you are far away and not with your real family but people around you make it feel like holidays. it's beautiful. a rare moment when you realize the people around you like 4,000 with us are a family. ♪ ♪ >> there is a december tradition that everyone looks forward to. >> every year cadets have a holiday dinner they get dressed in the uniform. the washington hall will be
decorated beautifully. >> washington hall is no ordinary dining hall. >> all eat in the dine hall for every meal. >> they come in the mess hall. >> they wrap everything in wrapping paper and bring up the lights. like a competition with the most decoration. >> they just use creativity to create a beautiful table for us. >> one of the most amazing things is the speed, thousands of cadets up to 460020 minutes with a great first class meal. >> everybody is sitting at a table, a big family style meal. passing food around. talking getting to know the classmate. >> you laugh and have fun. talk and exchange jokes. >> an opportunity for cadets both young and old to bond as a unit. >> the most exciting thing in
the holidays here. a lot of fun. >> washington hall isn't the most impressive structure at west point. one of the most awe-inspiring college campuses in america, the u.s. military academy was the first institution in the country to adopt the go thick style of architecture. the core buildings of west point form imposing granite fortress, symbolic of the strength and tenacity to lead the united states army in the future. among many great structures is a chap that is a gothic fortress overlooking the campus. >> something this majestic should be on the hill. 109 steps up here. it's worth the walk. >> the chapel is one of five on post. provide a home to cadet from different religious backgrounds. this building took more than a year to complete.
>> they began work in 1809. they were told if they could finish this building in five years that they and their families would receive the citizenship. they built it in 14 minutes. that tells you what love will do. >> get overtime by -- and they have a memory to fallen classmates. >> they donated a fund to put jo the holiday concert in a few minutes. first, in this beautiful setting, let's listen to the west point band sax quartet as they perform "queen of sheba." ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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nothing short of a triumph. with member of the freshman class known as plebes thar first chance to take a break. the welcome is reception day. our day. just the start of a rigorous schedule of training and education that will continue throughout their time here. in each of the four years at west point, when you are at a constant campaign to development them as leaders of character. almost immediately on graduation, they take on the extraordinary responsibility to command, inspire, lead, serve soldiers of the united states army. that is the primary mission at westbound. get back now to the music of the west point band. as we rejoin the hudson valley holiday concert for winter games. ♪ ♪ ♪
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go, let's look at the show ♪ ♪ one ride in a wonderland of snow ♪ ♪ giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, it's grand ♪ ♪ just holding your hand ♪ we're gliding along with the song of a wintry parry land ♪ ♪ our cheeks and news and rosy and comfy cozy are we ♪ ♪ we're together like birds of a feather are we ♪ ♪ come on, it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ ♪ birthday party at the home ♪ it will be a perfect ending to a perfect day ♪ ♪ singing the songs weapon love to sing ♪ ♪ without a stuck ♪ the fireplace, pop ♪ pop, pop, pop ♪ there is a happy feeling nothing in world can buy ♪ ♪ they pass around the coffee and the pie ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ you really a future ♪ ♪ wonderful, the things we
remember all through our liv lives ♪ ♪ hear the sleigh bells ringling, tingling, too ♪ ♪ come on it's lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you ♪ ♪ outside the snow is falling and friends are calling you hoo ♪ ♪ c'mon, lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you ♪ ♪ giddy up ♪ giddy up ♪ less a go ♪ let's look at the show ♪ we're riding in a wonderland of snow ♪ ♪ giddy up, giddy up ♪ it's grand ♪ just holding your hand ♪ we're gliding along the song of wintry fairy land ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ our cheeks are rosy
♪ our cozy are we ♪ together like two birds of a feather would be ♪ ♪ let's take that rosy and sing a chorus or two ♪ ♪ c'mon, it's lovely weather ♪ lovely weather perfect weather ♪ ♪ for a sleigh ride with you ♪ ♪ ♪ you ♪ you [ applause ] >> jon: and that brings to a close our west point holiday special. we'd like to thank everyone here at west point, especially the west point band for allowing to us share in this joyo h